We stayed at the Gran Bahai Principe Tulum Apr 2-14, 2013. It was a family friendly experience.
The highlights were wonderful food and restaurants. We loved the restaurants. Mikado was fun excellent food and great service and show. Get a “show” table at reservation if you can. The Brazilian, Coba Gourmet and Tulum Gourmet “Don Pablo” were all fabulous food and service. The nights at the buffet were very good. The selection is huge. There is a salad bar, sushi bar, Mexican bar, and much more! We ate like kings.
The resort is large. The pools were very nice. There is something for everyone. The Coba water park was lots of fun for my 3, 9, and 12 year old children. The beach was amazing. There really is something for everyone: great sandy beach, rocky shore with snails and crabs, 2 docks at Akumal with small fish near shore. We enjoyed shopping on site at the Hacienda.
There were lots of animals which we loved. There are lots of iguana, cote, racoons, geckos, and so much more. The kids loved seeing the variety of animals.
We spent a day at Dolphinarus. We loved the experience. They recommend no sunscreen but if you bring it most put it on their face after the dive or you get terribly burn on the full day experience. If you book ahead online you can save 20%-25%. They sell pictures at the end of your session. It is negotiable and most paid 30% - 50% of asking price, depending on the package. I highly recommend the trainer for a day. It is something my kids will never forget. I wish you could choose the 2 complimentary pictures.
It is just a few miles from Akumal public beach where you can swim with the turtles. You can go to the Hacienda (shopping) then walk to the road. You can catch a taxi at the road $14 or $2 per person on the Collectivo. The Collectivo drops you off at the road and it is a short walk to the public beach. It is an easy swim from shore to see turtles and small fish.
Free Wifi in the lobby was slow but worked well to check in with home.
There was lots of walking. Lots of band-aids needed for my 3 year old with sandal rubs on her feet. The stroller was handy to have. The golf carts were inconsistent and sometimes did not want to pick us up when the kids asked (I insisted a few times when my son fell). Also, the diesel fumes were strong on the cart on the truck. If you ride the first car the fumes are not an issue.
Here were the few negatives. The check-in was long. I waited over 20 minutes to start check-in. The guests in front of me were told there were no rooms. I was very distressed. I was glad to get a room.
The rooms are basic and a bit dated. It was not a big deal to us. Our room had a mattress topper and we found it comfortable. We were in villa 9 which was central. It was great to be central but off the golf cart path might be quieter. We had a ground floor room which was great with a stroller. No concerns with pests or must. We had one or two bug bites during our stay and recommend you bring standard itch cream.
There was some noise at night from golf carts. We were woken almost every night between 2 and 2:30am when the party closed down.
It is very odd that you pay for the room safe. I have not seen this in other resorts.
We found it hard to get beach chairs several days. This happens everywhere but is a disappointment when you want one chair.
I was concerned about a long bus ride and booked a private van with USA Transfers. It was $135 USD for 4-7 people for return transfer. They had car seats. It was very good.
Overall this was a very family friendly resort and we had a wonderful time. We would love to go back to this resort.